Technology

Apple Inc. Says Siri Is Now Active On 500 Million Devices

Apple has revealed that its digital assistant Siri is being used by about 500 million users. The company announced the number in a press release for its upcoming HomePod smart speaker.

Apple Siri HomePod
Image Source: Apple.com (screenshot)

Growing user numbers for Siri

“Siri, now actively used on over half a billion devices, has developed a deep knowledge of music and understands your preferences and tastes,” the press release read.

The iPhone maker did not reveal what qualifies as a “user” and also refrained from giving any breakdown of the daily or monthly user. However, given the whopping number, the chances are that Apple is giving the monthly number.

Prior to this, Apple last revealed the Siri usage last year in June during its 2017 WWDC conference. At the time, the company said that around 375 million customers regularly use the digital assistant, notes Business Insider.

In the third and fourth fiscal quarters combined, Apple sold 87.7 iPhones, 21.7 million iPads and 9.7 million Macs. This translates into 119.1 million Siri-capable devices, notes AppleInsider. Although, the Cupertino, California-based company did not open up on the Apple Watch metrics, a device that also supports Siri, a few estimates reveal that somewhere around 10 million and 15 million units have been sold in 2017.

Siri is also integrated with the Apple TV fourth and fifth generation variants, but their sales number is also not known. Once Apple releases its earnings for the first-quarter of 2018, more Siri enabled devices would be added to the final count.

New features making Siri more popular

Back in September, many Siri-related features were improved. This, in turn, would have widened the user base of Apple’s voice assistant. The new and improved Siri features included better voice, powered by deep learning technology.

Further, the latest OS update brings yet another feature to Siri enabling the digital assistant to read the news. The new feature is similar to the daily news briefing offered by the Google Assistant on Google Home Speakers. A user just needs to say “Hey Siri, give me the news” to trigger the audio news including the day’s top headlines and news stories.

According to 9to5Mac, the new feature uses the Washington Post, but a user will have a free hand to switch to other streams such as Fox News, CNN, NPR and so on. Before this update, Siri was able to offer headlines from Apple News or search results, but now Apple’s assistant is able to deliver audio briefings. As Apple nears the launch of its already delayed HomePod, potential customers would find the audio briefing a welcoming feature.

Separately, Apple is all set to release the HomePod on Feb. 9. The smart speaker would be available for preorder on Jan. 26 in the U.S., the United Kingdom and Australia. France and Germany would get the HomePod later. The HomePod would work with the Apple Music subscription, offering access to one of the world’s largest cloud music libraries.

Further, HomePod would also allow users to set a timer, send a message, play a podcast, check weather, traffic, news and regulate the smart HomeKit smart home accessories. The HomePod would also be equipped with the SiriKit to lend support to third-party messaging apps such as WhatsApp.